Despite 2020 not being a great year for so many people due to the pandemic and political issues that plagued the country, the year turned out to be the ultimate year for albums.
Artists like Wizkid, Timaya, Tekno, and some others who have been under immense pressure from their fans to release an album finally succumbed to the pressure and dropped an album. Even artists like Davido, Burna Boy, Olamide, and many others who weren’t under any pressure whatsoever to release an album also surprised us with a body of work.
With so many A-list artists delivering quality albums and also fast-rising & up and coming artists surprising us with top-notch music projects, shortlisting the top ten best Nigerian albums for 2020 wasn’t an easy task.
So after painstaking scrutiny, Rosbena presents the 10 best Nigerian albums released in 2020.
Top Ten Nigerian Albums/EPs that was released in 2020
(1) Wizkid – Made In Lagos
For over three years, Wizkid kept on talking about the album ‘Made In Lagos’, promising fans that it would be his best project, and the expectation from fans went over the roof.
After procrastinating the release of the album, Wizkid finally released the album on the 29th of October, 2020. The album was met with mixed reactions from fans as many felt it wasn’t worth the wait and hype while many others felt the album on its arrival. As time went on, the album began to make sense to quite a lot of people who weren’t feeling it at the beginning due to the absence of club bangers in the body of work.
The album comprises 14 tracks with well thought out features. It features the self-acclaimed African Giant, Burna Boy, Skepta, Damian Marley, H.E.R., Ella Mai, Tay Iwar, Projexx, Tems, and his record label artist, Terri.
‘Made In Lagos’ held the 43rd position on Guardian’s list of 50 Best Albums of 2020, spent over three weeks in the Top 20 of the worldwide Apple Music album charts, and spent over 4 weeks on the UK albums charts making it the longest-charting album released by a Nigerian artist in the UK albums chart. Made In Lagos has garnered over 200 million streams across different music streaming platforms as at the time of writing this post and is unarguably one of the best Nigerian albums in 2020.
(2) Twice As Tall – Burna Boy
Burna Boy who secured the first position on the list of top ten Nigerian albums in 2019 with his album ‘African Giant’ retains the number one position in 2020 with his most-recent music project ‘Twice As Tall’.
After losing the Grammy Award last year to Beninese singer-songwriter, actress, and activist, Angélique Kidjo for the ‘Best World Music Album’ category, the self-acclaimed African Giant expressed how the loss got to him in the first track of the album ‘Level Up’ as he used his pain as motivation and came back Twice as Tall to secure yet another Grammy nomination for ‘Best Global Music Album’.
The album contains 15 solid records and features from Youssou N’Dour from Senegal, Naughty by Nature, Sauti Sol (Kenyan afro-pop band), Chris Martin of Coldplay, and Stormzy.
(3) Davido – A Better Time
After wrapping up 2019 with the top-notch studio album ‘A Good Time’, one of the best Nigerian albums of 2019, no one expected any music project from the ‘Fem’ crooner and was not under any project to release new songs.
But while on the ‘A Good Time’ tour, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown started and he had to cancel his tour and return back home. Unable to carry out his regular activities, Davido was home for a long period of time, something that he isn’t used to, so he resorted to just recording songs at the time and finally came up with what would be one of the best Nigerian albums of 2020, ‘A Better Time’.
The album contained 17 songs including the album lead single ‘Fem’ which is one of 2020’s Nigeria’s biggest songs. Davido featuring American female rapper, Nicki Minaj, his record label artist, Mayorkun, Tiwa Savage, Mugeez (of R2bees), CKay, Lil Baby, Nas, Hit-Boy, Sho Madjozi, Bella Shmurda, and Kenyan afro-pop band, Sauti Sol. Three songs on the album made the list of the Best Nigerian Songs in 2020 and the project has amassed over 200 million streams on various music streaming platforms as of the time of writing of this post.
(4) Omah Lay – Get Layd
Speaking of making a good first-time impression, Omah Lay did a really good job in leaving a great first-time impression with his ‘Get Layd’ EP, one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
The Port-Harcourt singer who was unknown in the music industry in the previous years instantly became the golden boy of the industry after the release of the 4-track EP ‘Get Layd’ on the 22nd of May, 2020. As at the time of release, the EP left Omah Lay as one of the Top 5 Most-Streamed AfroBeats artists on Audiomack, the debut cover for Apple Music new ‘Africa Rising’ playlist and four nominations at the 2020 Headies Award [Best R&B single (Bad Influence), Next Rated, Headies’ Viewer’s Choice, and Songwriter of the Year].
Omah Lay wrapped up the successful year yet another EP titled ‘What Have We Done‘, a 5-track EP.
(4) Olamide – Carpe Diem
After releasing ‘999’ album in February who would have thought that the YBNL boss will still release another album in the same year.
The YBNL boss who is well known for releasing an album annually gave us two in 2020, ‘999’ and ‘Carpe Diem’. Carpe Diem, the second album, had 12 songs featuring some of the finest artists in Nigeria currently. Olamide teamed up with his record label artist Fireboy DML, Penthauze Music boss, Phyno, Peruzzi, Bella Shmurda, Bad Boy Timz, and the rave of the moment, Omah Lay.
Hit records emanated from the album including ‘Loading’ feat. Bad Boy Timz and the current trending record on social media ‘Infinity’ which is now making rounds online via social media challenge.
(5) Fireboy – Apollo
YBNL Nation award-winning singer and songwriter Fireboy had us hooked on to some amazing music in 2019 with his album ‘Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps’, and working with Olamide, a guy who never settles and wants to work harder, it is safe to say Fireboy caught some of that impressive work ethic from Olamide.
He came back stronger in 2020 with the 17-track album ‘Apollo’ containing songs like ‘Eli’, ‘Tattoo’, ‘Afar’, ‘Champion’, ‘New York City Girl’ and guest appearances from D Smoke, Wande Coal, and his record label boss, Olamide.
(6) Adekunle Gold – Afro Pop, Vol. 1
Afro Urban singer and songwriter, Adekunle Gold blessed our speakers with his 3rd studio album, Afro Pop, Vol. 1, unarguably one of the finest music projects in 2020.
The album comprises of 10 songs, guest appearances from Trinidadian singer and songwriter, Nailah Blackman, Patoranking, Olayinka Ehi, and Tekno.
Afro Pop, Vol. 1 was released under Universal Music and contains songs like ‘AG Baby’, Something Different’, and ‘Okay’.
(7) Kizz Daniel – King Of Love
With 17 songs, no features, and love as the theme of his much-talked-about body of work, singer & songwriter Kizz Daniel is set to take his rightful stead as Africa’s King of Love songs
An album, which was carefully curated by some of the brightest music heads in the country, was upgraded from a 7 track EP to a full-fledged album in the recent turn of events.
His prolific track record of not releasing any bad song since his debut in the music scene with his Platinum hit love song Woju has earned him the nickname Vado d’ great.
Each track has its message of love but with a wider spectrum of discussions beyond just love. Interestingly, Vado as the singer is also called, paints his lyrics most times with his experience of being in love, how he was treated in a relationship as well as aspirational romance.
(8) Chike – Boo of the Booless
On the 14th of February, 2020, a day dedicated to lovers and for the celebration of love, Nigeria’s own certified lover boy decided to give lovers something to groove to while they celebrate by releasing the album ‘Boo Of The Booless’, a project that would later become one of the finest albums of 2020.
The album contains 14 songs and features from Zoro, Ric Hassani, and M.I. Abaga.
(9) Flavour – Flavour Of Africa
Just in time for Christmas, the Ijele of Africa came in to spice up the festive period with this amazing body of work ‘Flavour Of Africa’.
The album contains 16 tracks and features the popular Nigerian pastor, Odumeje, the ‘Enjoy’ crooner, Tekno, Fally Ipupa, Larry Gaaga, Phyno, Biggie Igba, and the hilarious Waga G.
(10) Tiwa Savage – Celia
After whetting our appetite for the album with the hit song ‘Koroba’ which is one of the best Nigerian songs in 2020, we were sure of what to expect with the Celia album, and unsurprisingly, Mama Jam Jam didn’t let us down and lived up to the hype with the album ‘Celia’.
The 13-track album features Sam Smith, Naira Marley, Stefflon Don, Dice Ailes, Davido, and Hamzaa. The album ended up on the list of Times Best Albums of 2020.
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